Monday, November 30, 2009

bg/ish: Because Typing Is A Bitch...

You won't be seeing a lot from me in the weeks to come. Sure, I'll probably post some videos and links, but nothing that requires me to type more than a few lines. Yes, I "only" suffered a broken bone in my wrist in my recent accident, but the treatment far outweighs the tiny little bone that fractured...

* Editor's note: bg's extreme vanity prevented us from running an unedited photo of him in his injured state.

Although it may seem like treating a headache with a lobotomy, I have been assured by the finest doctors Kaiser can offer that the complete immobilization of my arm is the best way to ensure proper healing. Of course they could just be fucking with me.

At any rate, I've already said too much. I'll leave you with the following video, which should serve to make you smile, and at the very least exposes my soft underbelly...

via boing boing

Thursday, November 26, 2009

agIsh: *rubs eyes* What time is it...

I think I accidentally set my time circuits to 1992 and drove faster that 88 mph. A much older Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph (short for 'dolphin' according to bg) Lundgren reunite once again to kick each others' asses.

This is coming out on January 5, 2010 straight to DVD (only because there's no rating system in place to properly indicate how badass this movie is going to be).

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Monday, November 23, 2009

agIsh: I can't complain...

Literally. I can't complain...because I think that's a sin too.

"School sucks."
"I never had the opportunity to go to school."

"I hate all these papers I have to read."
"I never learned how to read."

"I never get enough sleep."
"My whole village was raped and pillaged and the bandits left nothing but charred remains of my pets. I'm unable to sleep at all now."

So, no matter how "unfortunate" I may feel, someone is way less fortunate than I am.

Can I get an 'Amen'?


Saturday, November 21, 2009

agIsh: Tattoo

This comic strip is fantastic for its simplicity.

Note: The fact that I'm posting a lot now is purely due to procrastination. See previous post.

agIsh: The Facts of Life

"You take the good, you take the bad, you take them"...wait, I almost got sidetracked.

Here's an interesting article that actually discourages people from going to graduate school when times are tough.

Don't try to dodge the recession with grad school

I've always recognized how lucky I was to leave the work force just before the shit hit the fan. It was purely coincidental, though. I just happened to come upon an epiphany and went back to school. This place really is sheltered from the real world and the problems that seem to plague others do seem quite distant.

My family is a huge supporter of education. My parents have made huge sacrifices to afford my siblings and I this luxury. I'm eternally grateful for these opportunities, yet I'd agree with many of the points in this article in any economy. When it comes down to it, I want my master's degree only because I know my future employers want it. I don't care for all the papers I have to read, all the papers I have to write, or all the presentations I have to prepare.

I've spoken with my classmates at length on this topic. The "facts" we're learning are actually quite difficult to bring into the real world. Often times we're learning about a single gene or a single protein that has a certain outcome if damaged ("mutated" for all you science-heads). In context of the 25,000 genes or the 100,000 proteins in the human body, this is like studying a grain of sand to understand the beach.

What we're actually learning in school that really matters are skills: how to extract information from a scientific paper, how to succinctly summarize it, how to efficiently present it to different audiences.

But can't all this be learned without investing 3 years of my life and $30,000 I don't have? And what class can adequately prepare you to be a good teacher? "Those who can't do teach. Those who can't teach administrate." Clearly everyone has their niche. Mine's teaching and life taught me how to be a good one ('good' from what I've heard, anyway).

School, especially graduate school, is nothing more than a weeding-out process. Sure, everyone can learn if given enough time. But if you can meet deadlines and endure the bullshit the curriculum hands you, you earn a piece of paper that proves that.

The kicker is that everyone else now has the same piece of paper...



agIsh: Plant

i hate drama. i don't even like it subconsciously. i want nothing to do with it. yet, i'm entirely surrounded by it right now. my dad's sick so he's essentially on house arrest until, i think, february. my neice ran away from home but now she's back. i'm taking every opportunity to procrastinate in school. archery club, once my safe haven from all that madness, is now fraught with personality conflicts and disorder.

i walked past a carbon-footprint-awareness booth the other day and they gave me a baby shrub to plant. i've done so and it now sits in a small pot on my desk. i think i found my new happy place.


Friday, November 20, 2009

bg/ish: A Broken Man

Well, my wrist at least. Or, more specfically a bone in my wrist. The scaphoid to be exact. Apparently, it's common but takes a long time to heal. About 8 weeks. I'm in a full arm cast. Up past my elbow. Thanks to the cast, I feel very little pain.

bg/ish: Frex n' Grin

I wanted to take a second to highly recommend my good friend Michelle's blog, Frex N' Grin. I really should have done this months ago.

Michelle is an amazing photographer, and her blog features some absolutely beautiful shots. Her work has always been an inspiration to me. She's in our blogroll now, so be sure to check her out.


(be sure to click on these images to see them in their entirety, as blogger has cropped them.)

bg/ish: Crisis Averted...

Well played ag, but I'll get to that in a moment.

So, if you're up to date with the current goings on, you'll know that yesterday I released some anxieties I was having regarding myself and this blog. It wasn't easy to do, it felt almost too personal. Of course, I had no foul intentions, and yet, I wondered if the gods would exact their revenge. Indeed, they acted swiftly...

As I rode my bike home from work yesterday, I was hit by a car. A VW bug I was riding along side decided at the last second to make a right turn, and despite my attempts to swerve out of the way, the car struck my bike near the rear wheel sending me into a tumble through the intersection.

For the most part, I'm fine. My left wrist feels badly damaged. I'm having it x-rayed at 1:30 this afternoon. I'm sitting in a coffee shop typing this on a Dell Mini 9 with one hand... and not that typing with one hand in the good Las Vegas way. This is a far more painful, uncomfortable way.

And yet it must be written! The gods have clearly demanded it, and ag's level headed reply begs of it.

Perhaps I lost perspective. ag has brought balance back to the Force, as was prophesied.

So let's just put this to rest. I need rest. My body aches. I'm banged up. Damn.

I'll be around. Cuz in the words of ag's boy Jack Twist, "I wish I knew how to quit you."

But I don't.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

agIsh: *clears throat*

bg/ag Publishing's protocol has always been to write to an imaginary audience when in fact its audience has mainly been its contributors. I'm going to change it up this one time.

I've mulled. I've rewritten. I've used A lot. The fact of the matter is I don't share the same sense of uncertainty as you do.

Your visit this past weekend was the first I'd seen you in well over a year. Not making excuses, but 6 hours is hard to overcome sometimes when life happens. I was a little worried with myself that I wasn't more giddy with the opportunity to finally have that beer with you. But I reasoned that I'd known you for 20 years and I plan to know you for another 20 and another 20 beyond that. So, sure, I missed hanging out with you, but I knew/trusted/hoped that you wouldn't be going anywhere.

"As we get older we become more like ourselves." bg/ag Publishing has always been a reflection of us and continues to be so. As we change, it changes. From the first 10-minute joke to the latest pensive post, you are bg and I am ag and so bg/ag will always exist in one form or another.

The site in its earliest incarnation was run by two guys who were entirely far too easy to entertain. Its witty columns, silly drawings, and grandiose books were made possible by our constant interaction. A key word, gesture, a look was all it took to fill pages of content. Life was in real time and tangentialism was in top form.

The blog is run by a guy who's been through some shit and is visited on occasion by two asians. Its introspective posts is the result of a kind of been-there-done-that disposition coupled with what I like to think is maturity. Each of us experiences in our days things that take some explaining. Email and instant messaging, unfortunately, don't offer much in the way of efficient conversation. "If you have to explain a joke, it was never funny to begin with." Life is now too cumbersome to explain and tangentialism has given way to the point.

...which brings me to the point: bg/ag Publishing should not dictate the direction of your posts. Rather, your posts have always dictated the direction of bg/ag Publishing. bg/ag Publishing has always been the outlet when we needed one and has always served its purpose perfectly.

As of late, you've done most of the feeding, burping, and changing and maybe it is time to send it off on its own. But this is our inner-monologue for everyone to see. I don't know about you, but I've enjoyed every letter of it. I can't wait to see where it goes!

As usual, ag loves you and hates you just the same.
bg/ish: ...

I don't want to write this.

That's part of the problem. I have something to say and I'm not sure how to say it. There is something I'm feeling and I'm not exactly sure what it is. But here's the gist...

I keep thinking about quitting.

It's the thought that's been prevailing in my head for the last few days now. Every time I work on this blog. Every time I struggle to put together ideas for a column. Every time I post something inane. I'm struggling with my own lack of direction.

This has nothing to do with any new project. It has nothing to do with the "feelin' in my stomach" I posted about the other day. This isn't fueled by depression or disappointment or anger or spite...

I love bg/ag publishing. Goddamn, goddamn I do.

When Nam and I started doing this so many years ago, it was a collaborative project that was built around showcasing things we'd worked on together. We wrote a couple books, Recognition Day, which led to Ghetto Shaolin, and then what might have been our finest work, The Homieship Chronicles. The original bg/ag publishing was built around these projects, which we both worked on. It was our words, our art (well, ag's art), and bg/ag publishing was the canvas it all exploded onto.

It's hard to explain, but I don't think there ever could have NOT been a bg/ag publishing. The stuff we were doing... it had to come out somehow. It absolutely needed a forum. We were driven. Motivated. Very proud.

It's interesting to think back. On our first site, we wouldn't curse. That's how bg/ish or ag/ish came about in the first place. "Ish" was just our way of saying "shit". bg/ish was just my way of saying, "OK, this is my shit". We had other columns and stories we'd run back then. There was BOTW, Movies So Bad... and others. But as our collaborative works slowed and eventually stopped, the "Ish" columns became more frequent and personal. I swear this was all before the word "blog" even existed.

We lost that site, and for several years, did nothing at all.

Then, in July of 2008 came the revival, a "rebirth of sorts". I absolutely, in no way, regret this at all. In fact, in some ways, but for different reasons, I'd say that it pretty much had to happen as well.

I'd stopped writing. Nam had too as far as I could tell. I'd toyed around with the idea of a blog, but had no idea as to what I wanted to do or how to even get any consistency out of one. Bringing bg/ag publishing into the blogosphere was in every way the right thing to do, and in many ways, it's been more of a success than I could have ever hoped for.

We sit here today with over 250 posts, and readership possibly numbering in the double digits. Haha. That's good shit! And yet, in spite of all this, I'm sitting here feeling as if it may be time to walk away. Close the doors. One final orgy with the interns, and leave without cleaning up.

But fuck, I'm torn. I don't know. Even as I wrote that last paragraph I'm thinking, "No more intern jokes? Fuck!" I mean, shit, I could build an entire bg/ish around a good intern joke and some verbal pimp slapping of ag. So what's my problem?

Seriously, what the fuck is my problem?!?

Well, the more I think about it, the more it seems to be an identity crisis. As few as the differences may be, I don't write this blog as myself, I write it as bg, aka blagguy. Like I said, it's not far from who I am, but there is still a barrier there, between that persona and who I am. And although bg/ag publishing doesn't stick to a specific format or subject matter, there's still this strange set of guidelines laid out in my head as to what constitutes Pub material and what doesn't. This may or may not make any sense at all.

It's also true that the collaborative aspect is completely gone. I'm not bitter about this. It's just the way things go sometimes. ag is busy doing his thing, I've moved away, we just don't hang out anymore. No more tangentialism, no more 10 minute jokes, no more Bi-Mon Sci-Fi Con. Again, these are all things relegated to our amazing past, and there is no reason to be the least bit disappointed about it.

Revamping the Pub as a blog kept us in touch, kept some aspects of our homieship in tact, and I'm sure on more than one occasion made us laugh, and reminisce about the days of old.

But it goes back to identity. What is the identity of the Pub these days? I'm not sure. It's probably safe to say that I contribute about 85% of the content. Your boy ag has a pretty full plate and does what he wants to here and there. Again, I'm not judging or pointing fingers or anything of that sort. I've never pressured him to contribute anything, because that's not our style. Our friendship comes before any of this, and will continue long after it. This isn't about that.

We asked chair to contribute some months back, and she too, has done what she can. Personally, I've loved every one of her posts for us, but she's got a life and other things going on and certainly not the same deep emotional attachment to this little love child of your boy ag and myself.

So, maybe there just can't be a bg without the ag. And maybe there can't be a bg/ag without the tangentialism, the 10 minute jokes, the Bi-Mons, the beers at the Goat and all that. I honestly don't know. I'm a very confused man.

I have to say, I've been dwelling on this for a couple of days now. lz, what you shared here, besides being fucking amazing, really inspired me to start sorting this out with words on this page.

ag and chair, seeing you both this last weekend was the step just prior to that. I really do love and care about you both immensely, and I know that if anybody will understand what I'm saying here, it's you.

Ok... so...

All of that being said, I can't bring myself to say, "I quit." At least not yet. But I can say, my heart is not 100% in this right now and it may be time for a break or some time off. For fuck's sake I feel like Brett Farve...

So, leave me a comment if you have any input or feedback on all this. Even if all you're thinking is, "Dude, 3 people read your fucking blog, shut the fuck up with your crying and shit", well, fell free to say that too. Maybe my perceptions are all screwed up. Maybe it's all an averse reaction to the Indian food I had for lunch. I dunno.

Perhaps next week I'll feel like, "Fuck all that nonsense I spit last week, lez do this." Perhaps not.

I know for a fact that I could certainly keep doing this. What I'm not sure of is if I can't. If you know me, you know that I'm loyal to to the people and things that I love. I love my boys ag and chair, and I love this blog.

Otherwise, I just don't know...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

bg/ish: The Orijanel Journal

The new blog from one time bg/ag publishing contributor The Box, aka, Duyu Nohu, aka Orijanel...

"Heavy focus on music, arts, writing, family, friends, and most notably....YouTube videos you care less to watch!"

Cheggid: Orijanel Journal
bg/ish: Fuuuuck...

It's Always Sunny In The Mission

Well, I guess it's time to officially announce the existence of my new project, It's Always Sunny In The Mission.

Very simply, it's pictures of San Francisco. The lovely lz and I had been talking about putting together a site to feature pictures we've been taking, and this is the result. Some of the initial content has been featured previously on this site, although going forward, It's Always Sunny will be featuring mostly exclusive content.

We're also in association with SF Enthusiast, a new project from my buddy Steve Morozumi of fluxlife.

"sfenthusiast is a grassroots community network starting out in The Castro/Upper Market district. We are enthusiastic about San Francisco, it's merchants, artists, musicians, organizations, individuals, community, and more!

Before we are customers, clients, and owners, we are people. People in community. We all have wants and dreams that can be synergized in community, empowerment, and collaboration to create our dreams in our lives greater than we could alone."

-Steve Morozumi

So, show them some love, show us some love... we're just trying to help you get through your day. Nah' mean!?!
bg/ish: "I got a feelin' in my stomach..."

seen @ this isn't happiness via the Telegraph UK

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

bg/ish: Change to Commenting

So, it's clearly time to make a change to our commenting policy here at Tha Pub. Por que? Because of stuff like this...

Now, I'm torn over whether to just stop allowing Anonymous comments or just adding the little word verification step before posting. Personally, I hate the word verification style. Those words are just too nonsensical and hard to read. But I also know that some of our actual readers (and not bots) like to comment anonymously for whatever silly reasons they may have.

So word verification it is. Unless of course my annoyance with it grows to a level where I decide not to use it anymore. Meh.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

bg/ish: 16bit - The Tale of The Exploding Fist

I am absolutely dying to get my hands on this track right now. Currently only out on vinyl... Slammin'!

Monday, November 09, 2009

bg/ish: Seen @ Buen Sabor...

What does Cobra Commander do after washing down a tasty Buen Sabor burrito with a nice refreshing Dr. Pepper?

He fucking RUN 'TINGS!

photos by lz

Thursday, November 05, 2009

bg/ish: Gemini/inimeG

A wise Gemini once said...

"Chaos is a friend of mine."
-Bob Dylan

photo by ariel diaz
bg/ish: Keep Runnin'...

I must admit on some occasions
I went out like a punk or a chump
Or a sucka or somethin' to that effect
Respect, I used to never get
Cuz all I got was upset...


There comes a time in every man's life
When he's gotta handle shit upon his own
Can't depend on friends to help you in a squeeze
Please, they got problems of they own...


It's 1995 2009!
And now that I'm older
Stress weighs on my shoulders
Heavy as boulders
But I told ya'll
Until the day that I die I still
Will be a soldier...

It's crazy... when The Pharcyde dropped that shit back in '95, I had just graduated high school, and I was just like, "that shit is word!" And here I am today, in 2009 listening to that joint and I'm like, "that shit is word son!"

And that's all I've got really. I mean, Jay Dee, The Pharcyde, droppin' knowledge. Figure it out. Groove to it. Practical application. Can't keep runnin'...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

bg/ish: "We're all gonna fry together!"

Good morning. Now, get slapped around some more by Ima Robot!

A is for action
P is for paranoid, a is for anger
Out here in the void
C is for countdown
O is for over
LYPSE are for your lips smashed on mine when the world blows up...

G is for greed
O is for order
V is for villains in the 3-piece suits defining the borders
E is for empire
R is for revenue
N is for not for me but none was
MENT was meant for you and me...

D is for disease
E is for entropy
A is for acceptance so drop your futile weapons
T is for time [tick tock tick tock...] and you ain't got much left
H is for heaven or hell now let's hear it for

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

bg/ish: "Pathetic religion of sex and cryin'..."

Fuck. Yes.

Taking it back a few years. You gotta ask questions to get answers...

Love is the only incident
An infatuation
Is this sweet manipulation?
Well, I was frightened myself
What is love?
It's a fine inclination
A lovely retardation
What is love?
A reality vacation
Indulging operation
What is love?
It's the worthiest damnation
Sweet temptation
What is love?
bg/ish: "Bad light equals a bad picture."

This is a follow up to a previous post about the photography of Walter Iooss Jr. Sports Illustrated recently posted this video of Walter discussing his work, technique and memorable shots. Very highly recommended!